i News reports that Apple has unveiled a new, affordable iPad which is discounted for schools, as the company seeks to muscle into classrooms across the globe.
Tablets are used by many schools across the world to provide children with the means to watch educational videos, participate in quizzes and assigned work and to shoot and edit footage for projects.
Speaking in the auditorium of Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, Apple executive Greg Joswiak introduced the new model, which is the first device outside of the company’s Pro range to support the Apple Pencil stylus for drawing and note-taking.
The discounted device represents an aggressive move into classrooms for the Californian company. Competition between Apple, Google and Microsoft is fierce, and debates have long ranged over the affordability of educational hardware and software for schools. Tablets and laptops have become commonplace in classrooms over the past decade, a development some teachers have welcomed, declaring tablets are valuable learning tools, while other have raised concerns over the costs of purchasing and maintaining devices which may be lost or damaged.
The new device, which replaces the former 9.7-inch entry-level iPad, will be priced from £319 for 32GB of storage for Wi-Fi access only, and £449 for 32GB with Wi-Fi plus cellular connectivity, with various discount options for schools, and will be available to buy later in the week. Colour options range from silver, space grey and a pinky gold.
Cassey Williams, a key stage one teacher from Woodberry Down primary school in Hackney, London was a guest speaker at the event, and spoke about how the school has integrated the iPad into its lesson places. Chief executive Tim Cook visited the school to meet teachers and pupils last year.
The company also announced a new Curriculum called Everyone Can Create, designed to help teachers integrate digital drawing, photography and music into their lesson plans, and Schoolwork, an app which lets teachers assign homework and track the progress of their students digitally.
Still too expensive for your school and pupils? Are tablets really necessary in the classroom? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter~ Tamsin
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